Day 3: The Longest Portage

Reading and relaxing after the longest portage

Date: Saturday, August 8, 2015

Weather: 26 degrees Celsius, sunny and calm

Distance: ~12 kms plus a 1 km portage from Donald Lake into Kukagami Lake

A hot day in August means fun with mosquitoes on the longest portage trail.


We were in the groove, working as a team of ten. After we had fueled up on coffee, tea, and a hearty breakfast we made quick work of refilling water bottles ahead of a hot day, packing up camp and loading the boats.


We paddled the length of Donald Lake again, noting other canoeists were also on the move. When we arrived at the portage trail we slathered on extra sunscreen and bug spray, wished each other luck and started to haul gear over a mostly flat and clear portage trail. If I were to do it again, I perhaps would have only carried the canoe and come back for a pack rather than trying to do both at the same time. I was wearing long layers as I always do to protect my sensitive skin from the sun. By the time I reached the end of the trail, I felt overheated. I gulped back some water while slapping away the mosquitoes and headed back to the start to grab more gear. We passed one other couple on the trail, otherwise saw no one. The other canoeists on the move must have been headed north on Donald Lake.


Everyone looked a bit shell-shocked by the end of the portage but there was no way the mosquitoes were going to allow us to stop long enough for lunch so we pushed on into Kukagami Lake. Within a kilometer or two (at the most), Jen found the campsite she wanted to stay at – a lovely, large site that had clearly been a fishing camp at one time, beneath a stand of red pines. We pulled the canoes up on shore, grabbed the lunch bag, refilled water filters, and made sure everyone ate, rehydrated, and cooled off before setting up camp.


The rest of the afternoon ran at a leisurely pace. We swam and napped and chatted. We watched what looked to be rescue drills by yet another yellow bomber (see the Killarney trip report for reference) and at the end of the day we enjoyed a delicious meal of pesto pasta and veggies, a spectacular sunset, and another campfire before retiring for the night.


For the rest of the trip report, click here.

Published by Kate Monahan

Travel happy. Outdoors professional. Writer. Photographer. Educator.

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